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Multaneously rallying conservation groups ( 04/northwest-forest-plan-20-years-battles-obama/). Maybe the Multaneously rallying conservation groups ( 04/northwest-forest-plan-20-years-battles-obama/). Probably the simplest but most critical molecular analyses needed for conservation in the Northern Spotted Owl was to define its taxonomic status (Fig. three). There had been millions of dollars of timber, jobs, and other resources riding on figuring out the limits of its range. Therefore, it was imperative to determine if there have been 1? species or subspecies to become thought of for protection beneath the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In two studies (B) working with 3 markers (mtDNA, microsatellites, and RAPDs), we identified agreement for three subspecies: Northern (S. o. caurina), California (S. o. occidentalis), and Mexican (S. o. lucida) with proof for subspecies hybridization exactly where taxa met geographically (Haig et al. 2001, 2004a,b). The challenge of intraspecific Northern-California Spotted Owl hybrids difficult conservation action plans for the reason that the ESA only addresses difficulties for hybrids in captive circumstances (O'Brien and Mayr 1991). This became a larger concern when we discovered evidence that Northern Spotted Owls have been hybridizing with Barred Owls (Strix varia) that have been rapidly expanding their variety in to the Pacific Northwest. Not knowing how in depth this hybridization could be, we created mtDNA, microsatellite, and AFLP markers to differentiate these taxa for use by law enforcement laboratories (Haig et al. 2004a,b; Funk et al. 2006, 2008a). Even immediately after the markers had been developed, there was title= fpsyg.2014.00726 a legal conundrum as to the best way to cope with a bird that looked like an ESA-protected Northern Spotted Owl but genetically was a Barred Owl/Northern Spotted Owl hybrid. A little-used clause inside the ESA (section four(e)) offered a possible resolution (Haig and Allendorf 2006). This `similarity of appearance' clause offers protection for species which might be not listed but closely resemble an ESA-listed species. Understanding the genetic status of Northern Spotted Owls was the subsequent vital step. We began by taking a landscape genetics approach (Manel and Holdregger 2013) whereby we could examine the partnership involving a random distribution Figure 3 (A) Northern Spotted Owl female and two older chicks of genes with a random distribution of geographic points (photo by Sheila Whitmore), (B) Distribution of sample websites within the across the array of the Northern Spotted Owl (Funk et al. range of the Northern Spotted Owl (from Funk et al. 2010) (Box 3). 2008b). We did not locate important breaks in gene flow but we did come across restrictions in gene flow in functions including the Cascade and Coast Range mountains also as dry river valleys (Fig. three). A closer investigation into restricted gene flow indicated that Northern Spotted Owls general had most likely undergone a significant recent population bottleneck (Funk et al. 2010). The results were exactly the same when analyses have been broken down by area (e.g., Cascade Mountains, Olympic peninsula, etc.) and neighborhood populations. The bottleneck signature was strongest for owls inside the Washington Cascades, an location known to be experiencing a substantial population decline (Forsman et al. 2011). In fact, when we compared our bottleneck final results title= jir.2014.0026 for regional populations with population development rates for the 14 demographic study areas monitored over the previous 20+ years, there was a strong correlation between a substantial population bottleneck and substantial decline in lambda (population growth rate) (Funk et al.

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